The Red List Centre at Schwerin Zoo is a living cooperation between Schwerin Zoo and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), whose so-called “Red List” describes the endangerment status of animal and plant species worldwide. Which endangerment categories there are and what it means for a species to be listed as “endangered (VU)” or “threatened (EN)” is answered at Schwerin Zoo’s Red List Centre. From “not assessed (NE)” to “extinct in the wild (EW)”, each category of the Red List is explained by means of an animal species on display.
The new themed complex just behind the entrance to the zoo offers spacious enclosures for the pride of Asiatic lions and a group of Rothschild’s giraffes, as well as bird enclosures and terrariums inside. Already on the forecourt of the Red List Centre, visitors will in the future be able to immerse themselves in the world of animals. Various roofed glass vistas provide insight into the exciting outdoor enclosure, which shows the life of the lions on several levels with a gradient of up to six metres. Places for sand bathing, a heating stone as well as scratching and climbing elements offer the animals natural employment opportunities (Behavioural Enrichment). The exterior and interior of the new enclosure flow into each other through the use of earthy, ochre and brown tones. The same colour scheme is also used for the Lion House at the Red List Centre. A combined shotcrete façade with wooden cladding blends in perfectly with the surrounding landscape. The envisaged natural-looking floor enhances the immersive experience inside. Here, visitors can look through an anti-reflective panoramic pane on a visual axis into the interior of the lion house and into the landscape of the outdoor area. As a special highlight, one can observe the procedure in the feeding kitchen through a glass pane. In addition, a generous view of the savannah and giraffe landscape awaits visitors on the adjoining terrace. Inside the Red List Centre, a zoological rarity lives in one of the terrariums: the Moorea tree snail. Only Schwerin Zoo shows this tree snail species, which is already extinct in nature, in Germany. The Moorea tree snail is very sensitive, which is why it needs to be kept almost sterile. This is the only way to meet the animals’ requirements and guarantee a large number of offspring for later release into the wild. In addition to species protection, the Red List Centre also comprehensively fulfills its information and education mandate. On display boards and via interactive screens, visitors young and old can learn about the threat status of wild species and find out more about the causes of habitat loss, direct hunting or climate change that contribute to the endangerment and what we can do about it. With all these elements, the Red List Centre at Schwerin Zoo is a destination that provides protection for endangered animals and a leisure experience for young and old.
Pictures: Zoo Schwerin